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Most well known bassists?

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by TheJacoBaco, Oct 16, 2013.

  1. Hey guys, can you list off some names of famous, well known bassists who have a signature style?

    I want to try to learn kinda theory-wise what they are like and what kinda techniques they use and such. I want to do this so I can imitate their style if I was ever asked to play a "Flea bass line" or whatever. (I want to work as a session musician, among other things). And I'm looking to define my own sound as well. Thanks!
  2. Jaco - Get a fretless and unleash those harmonics!

    Steve Harris - Get the meanest sounding P-bass you can afford, throw on some flats and play triplets as precise as possible

    Sid Viscious - Buy a bass and have someone else play it for you

    Fieldy - Buy a 5 string bass, detune the hell out of it and just randomly smack it :D
  3. Thanks! Haha at least for The first two suggestions hahaha :p
  4. Hamlet7768

    Hamlet7768 Here to chew gum and rock. Still have gum.

    Jun 5, 2011
    John Entwistle - Steel rounds, bright and trebly sound. Percussive playing towards the neck, often using three or four fingers in conjunction. Frequent use of the pentatonic scales. "Typewriter technique" (tap strings just above the fretboard so they ping off).

    Cliff Burton - largely you'll want to follow the guitars, but keep an eye out for times when you can throw an odd fill or counterpoint in to the guitar melody. Rounds, heavy overdrive, heavy fingerstyle attack.
  5. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg , Conquest Sound
    John Enwistle
    Paul McCartney
    Jack Bruce
    Boz Burrell
    Jaco Pastorius
    James Jamerson
  6. Rocco Prestia.

  7. Simon Gallup = Pick and effects
  8. T-MOST

    T-MOST Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2004
    NJ via NYC

    When you hear these guys play 9/10 you know who they are.
  9. socialleper

    socialleper Bringer of doom and top shelf beer Supporting Member

    May 31, 2009
    Canyon Country, CA
    You can learn a lot from a lot of different players because they have different takes on what their job is in a composition.
    For just bass playing 101 "Find the pocket, groove, and don't make a fuss" you can't go wrong with James Jamerson. The guy played some of the best, unobtrusive, bass lines on famous songs you would never know he was the bass player on. Since 90% of the music world doesn't want to actually hear the bass, or have it take up too much space in the composition, this is a good place to start.

    At the other end of the spectrum you have Victor Wooten who's approach to the bass is to see it as a complete instrument capable of grove, harmony and leads. He uses nearly every technique you can think of, and in my opinion, does an excellent job of transitioning from simple finger groves, to slap happy melodies. Plus his approach to music in general is so, for the lack of a better word, happy. His love for music and playing shines through in what he does.

    In terms of other styles, you have to narrow it down a little to a certain focus. What will work in a country band will not work in a jazz band, and what works in a jazz band won't work in a heavy rock band. Within each genre you will find many unique styles to look into.
  10. StevieMac


    Mar 17, 2005
    Vancouver, BC
    Gene Simmons :bag:
  11. Lemmy & Geezer Butler have pretty unique styles of their own.
  12. Dave W

    Dave W

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    Geddy Lee has a style all his own
  13. Stealth


    Feb 5, 2008
    Zagreb, Croatia
    Flea. Most everyone who's heard of RHCP also knows of him.
  14. Yogi Bear

    Yogi Bear

    Aug 14, 2000
    Chris Squire
  15. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    Steve Swallow
    Tony Levin
    Abe Laboriel(sr.)
    Matthew Garrison
    Anthony Jackson
    Marcus Miller
    Skuli Sverrisson
    James Jamerson
    Jaco Pastorius
    Stanley Clarke
    Victor Wooten
    Carles Benavent

    Are those that come to mind first...t least to mine :)
  16. James Jamerson - get a P-bass, put on the most old, dead sounding strings you can, roll the tone knob all the way off, put a piece of foam under the strings by the bridge, and play really really well with only 1 finger!
  17. 9mmMike

    9mmMike Would you happen to have a cookie for me? Supporting Member

    Great list there.

    I'd add Squire and Levin and Pino to that list. Maybe McVie if you include Fleetwood as a package. Played so long together they were tight to the extreme.
    And finally Graham Maby as a fantastic pick-player. Played for Joe Jackson forever. Not "well known" but a style from which you could learn a ton.

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